First thing’s first- How do I pronounce ‘Açai’?
Açai is pronounced “ah-sigh-ee”.
Where does it come from?
Açai berries, also known as Amazon Palm Berries, is an indigenous berry that comes from the South America. It’s common name comes from a Portuguese adaptation of the Tupian word ïwaca’i, meaning “fruit that cries or expels water” (which is what we love about this berry). The açai Palm is usually about 3m tall and the berries a delicious black-purple colour.
What journey did this modest berry take to end up looking so delicious in my smoothie?
Oh, if your fresh produce could talk, what tales of adventure would they have! The cute little açai berry is usually cultivated on a well-regulated farm, but it is said that it’s sustainability is beneficial for the regeneration of the Amazon forest (if we don’t go too crazy and try to eat all of the berries at once).
The berries are collected and pulped, and the pulp is what is frozen and air packed and delivered to your local cafe, restaurant, supermarket, or yoga-instructors house. Acai usually looks like lumpy ice-cream (often a deep purple in colour) and can give you brain-freeze if eaten too quickly. Frozen, stirred into desserts, on it’s own, or blended into a smoothie, the açai berry is suddenly the fruit of the now.
I heard somewhere that açai will help me to lose weight, is this correct?
Despite Instagram celebrities and online dieticians assurance, introducing açai into your diet will not automatically make the pounds shed (we wish it did, though).
Just over a decade ago, the açai berry burst on to the scene with claims that it was the antioxidants contained in açai berries in pill form that would not only reverse diabetes and other chronic illnesses, but that it would melt away fat and even help men in the bedroom. After a string of lawsuits over these false claims and a nasty scam in the US where people’s credit cards were pilfered, studies began to uncover the true nutritional value of this tasty berry. While these small studies are still continuing this day, one thing is for sure: açai berries do have antioxidants, but the levels are so low that you would gain more from eating blackberries, and Concord grapes.
Never the less, these berries are delicious and they do have some amazing benefits that your body will love. Just remember, they are not magical weight loss berries (sorry Instagramming yoga mummy’s!) but they sure do have a magical flavour and other nutritional benefits that you need in your life.
What goodies do açai have in them that will help and nourish my body?
All vegetables and fruits have some goodies for your body, so let’s have a look at what açai has to offer.
Half a cup of pure açai is about 100 calories, with about 50% of those calories coming from fat (the berries have around 6 grams of fat). The half cup will contain omega-9 fats, which have anti-inflammatory properties but aren’t one of the essential fatty acids (those are omega 3 & 6). The half cup will also have a bit of fibre, which is essential in digestive regulation, vitamin A, a bunch of minerals like iron and calcium, and the ever popular phytonutrients including polysterols and anthocyanins (which also help to regulate and boost your digestion).
In addition to all these goodies, the best part about açai is that it is often paired with other fruits, nuts, and berries and acts as a vehicle for other ingredients. Think of it as padding for smoothies, smoothie bowls, ice-cream, and anything fruity your heart desires.
This means that you can combine all sorts of nutritional goodness into one smoothie and get a super-boost of goodies. Finding it hard to eat blueberries/bananas/pretty much anything every day? Throw it in your smoothie along with the açai!
It’s as simple as that.
Need some inspiration for smoothie recipes? Add açai to any of our favourite smoothie recipes and feel the buzz of the berry!
If the discovery of the açai berry has you wanting more natural goodness, or if the digestion power of the berry has set a desire off in you to achieve better digestion, then we must introduce you to the secret of calm folks the world over: Herbal Tea.
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First thing’s first- How do I pronounce ‘Açai’? Açai is pronounced “ah-sigh-ee”. Where does it come from? Açai berries, also known as Amazon Palm Berries, is an indigenous berry that comes from the South America. It’s common name comes from a Portuguese adaptation of the Tupian word ïwaca’i, meaning “fruit that cries or expels water” (which…